Cats start where they left off

Twitter: @CooneyLand

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - University of Arizona Wildcat Softball was tabbed No. 13 in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Preseason Poll, released Tuesday.

Arizona will begin the season where it ended last season - ranked 13th.

Defending champion Alabama is ranked No. 1 and received 25 of the 31 first-place votes. 2012 runner-up Oklahoma received five first-place votes and is preseason No. 2.

The Pac-12 occupies spots 3-through-5 with California, Arizona State and Oregon, respectively. Overall, seven of the nine Pac-12 teams are featured in the preseason poll including Arizona (13), Washington (16), UCLA (19) and Stanford (21).

In addition to the seven Pac-12 opponents the Wildcats will also face 2nd-ranked Oklahoma (twice), 10th-ranked LSU, 14th-ranked Florida, 15th-ranked Michigan. Additionally, UA will face Northwestern, Virginia Tech and Notre Dame, all of which are receiving votes in the poll.

In total, 23 of Arizona's 56 games will be played against top-25 teams, including 12 top-10 squads.

Arizona begins its season Feb. 8 when it travels to Tempe for the Kajikawa Classic.

For continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat Softball, visit ArizonaWildcats.com. Be sure to follow Arizona Softball on Twitter (@UA_Softball) and Facebook (ArizonaSoftball).

Rank Team 2012 Record Totals Final 2012 Poll1 Alabama (25) 60-8 765 12 Oklahoma (5) 54-10 745 23 California (1) 58-7 704 34 Arizona State 53-11 684 45 Oregon 45-18 635 56 Tennessee 52-14 626 67 Texas 47-13 534 98 Missouri 47-14 496 119 Georgia 45-17 490 1010 LSU 40-25 475 711 Louisiana Lafayette 53-6 429 1212 USF 50-14 423 813 Arizona 38-19 406 1314 Florida 48-11 342 1815 Michigan 42-17 326 1516 Washington 39-19 316 1417 Texas A&M 41-18 296 1918 Louisville 55-5 255 1719 UCLA 36-20 216 2020 Hofstra 42-15 203 1621 Stanford 40-19 183 2122 North Carolina 43-15 102 2423 Hawai'i 44-9 89 2224 Baylor 34-22 80 RV25 Florida State 47-16 58 RV